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Capitol to accept applications for MSME assistance prog until Oct. 31
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Thursday, October 1, 2020
Capitol’s Sugbo Negosyo Progam accepts applications starting today, October 1.

The pioneering micro-enterprise assistance program of the Cebu Provincial Government is accepting applications starting today, October 1 until October 31, 2020.

During the launching of the program “Sugbo Negosyo” Wednesday, September 30, Provincial Board (PB) Member and Chairman of the Committee on Commerce and Industry Glenn Anthony Soco shared that each category has a unique application form.

“The category guidelines, requirements, and instructions on how to submit are found in the forms,” Soco said.

Forms can be downloaded from the official Facebook page of the PB member of the district where the applicant is from. These are also available at the City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office and at the barangay halls. 

Applicants may also directly fill out the online form by clicking the link:

Only one applicant per household is allowed. The applicant must be a registered voter of the Province of Cebu, at least 18 years of age at the time of application, and may be a new or existing micro-entrepreneur who has been severely affected by the pandemic including those who want to boost or repurpose the business for the new normal way of life.

The applicant’s new or existing business should also be located within the Province of Cebu.

For those who will engage in trading, only products made in Cebu are allowed to be sold under the “Sugbo Negosyo” program. 

Imported new and used clothing (ukay-ukay), food, houseware, and other products bought outside the Philippines are not allowed, as well as products and delicacies brought from other provinces.

For those who will engage in manufacturing and or processing, the raw materials to make the product, including the packaging, should be sourced in Cebu only.

For applicants with existing businesses, the grant cannot be used in the beautification, renovation, or expansion of the physical store.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in her speech, said that “many will agree that the past six months of this year have been the worst six months in living memory.”

She pointed out that Covid-19 and the ensuring restrictions imposed filled the public with fear and the news with reports of “cumulative numbers of positive cases creating misimpression” on the actual scenario in the communities.

These reports made headlines instead of the livelihoods lost and the economy on a standstill, she added.

“And yet the impact of a ravaged economy was even more devastating than Covid-19 itself. The numbers will show that for as long as we focus on active cases, meaning positive minus recovered minus deaths, and for as long as we are able to manage these cases, Covid-19’s negative impact would pale in comparison to thousands, the hundreds of thousands nga karon wala na’y panginabuhi,” the governor said.

Garcia expressed that maintaining the stay-at-home policies may be easier to say for those who have regular jobs; this cannot be done for those who are jobless struggling to survive.

“Pero how about those nga naglisod, kadtong dili na maka-afford to buy a kilo of rice. Kahibawo ko kay mituyok ko sa Probinsya. Dili sama aning uban nga mostorya about complacency, maayo ra ba’g nakatuyok sa Probinsya,” she quipped.

Covid-19 may be here to stay, but it is highly treatable. Cebu Province’s recovery rate is near 90 percent.

“We can no longer afford that the economy continues to be in a comatose because of Covid-19. Mas daghan pa unya ang mamatay sa gutom kaysa Covid-19. Mao na gawas sa atong pagbukas sa turismo, gibukas usab nato karon ang kahigayonan nga ang atong mga kaigsuonan sa Lalawigan sa Sugbo makabalik sa pagbarog sa ilang duha ka tiil. To regain the dignity of helping themselves by encouraging entrepreneurship throughout the entire province,” Garcia expressed.

The first in the country, Sugbo Negosyo is seen to jumpstart the trend and other local government units may follow. Should the program succeed, this will be continued with additional funding.

Funds for the assistance to chosen micro-entrepreneurs are coursed through the Office of the Vice Governor and the PB members.

Garcia allocated a total of P100 million for the program with P15 million to the Office of Vice Governor Hilario P. Davide III and P5 million each to the offices of Cebu’s 17 PB members.

“Tungod sa akong nakita that we can work effectively together regardless of political color, that beyond our own personal interests and even challenges, we can rise above, join hands because of and for the good of the Cebuanos,” she shared.

The governor thanked Davide and the PB members for taking up the challenge, because choosing the right beneficiaries of the program can be very difficult.

The program will not be a dole-out but a cashless support wherein raw materials and other needed goods are given to the beneficiaries. 

This is to encourage good use of government funds and ensure the highest level of success. 

“We will now be giving them not just the fish but the fishing rod. Dili kay tagaan nato sila’g isda para makaon apan palitan nato sila og ibingwit, bisan pwede pa gani hasta ang bangka. That is how we will do it. Sugbo Negosyo will truly, truly give usa ka hayag nga kaugmaon alang sa atong mga kaigsuonang Sugbuanon,” Garcia said.

Capitol’s Sugbo Negosyo Program is in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

“You see, the governor cannot do this alone. The passion is there, the vision is there, but we need collaboration,” Garcia said.

She thanked DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez for campaigning for the revival of the economy, Assistant Secretary Asteria Caberte and Assistant Regional Director Rose Quinanola for working closely with the Capitol for this program as well as the tourism revival.

She also thanked the MCCI for collaborating with the Capitol again after the successful Obra Negosyo Eskwela in 2011. 

“We again tapped MCCI to collaborate with us as well and they have given up so much of their precious time. Kini mga busy kaayo ni nga mga negosyante unya duna pa’y giatubang nga mga hagit sa ilang kaugalingong negosyo, apan nia sila motabang gihapon sa Provincial Government,” the governor said.

Applications should be coursed through the Office of the Vice Governor, the two Provincial Board members in each of the seven districts, the ex-officio members of the Liga ng mga Barangay, Philippine Councilors League, and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation. 

Each of the offices will have an Evaluation Committee composed of the Vice Governor or his representatives, PB members of the district or federation, representatives from the DTI, and members of the MCCI.

The approval of the applications and announcement of the eligible beneficiaries shall be undertaken by the Central Committee composed of the PB’s Committee on Commerce and Industry members, representatives from the Office of the Governor, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Office of the Vice Governor, DTI and MCCI.

A tripartite memorandum of agreement on the implementation of the Sugbo Negosyo program was also carried out between Garcia, Caberte, and MCCI president Steven Yu, witnessed by Soco and Quinanola during the program launch.

Sugbo Negosyo has three categories. “Negosyong Padayonon” for Category A for established microenterprises that need recovery assistance and enhancement which will receive goods, equipment, or raw materials worth P50,000 thousand. 

“Produktong Sugbuanon” for Category B for aspiring micro-entrepreneurs who want to engage in manufacturing or processing of products to receive goods, equipment, or raw materials worth P20,000 thousand. “Mga Serbisyo ug Ginagmayng Patigayon” for Category C for micro-entrepreneurs engaged in trading or services to receive goods, equipment, or raw materials worth P10,000.

The raw materials, goods and equipment will be sourced from partner suppliers through the use of a digital card with Quick Response (QR) code to ensure validity.

More information and updates can be checked in the program’s official Facebook page: (Eleanor Valeros)